Fresh & Easy May Close SoCal Stores

The British-based grocery chain prepares to pull the plug on its 199 U.S. markets. The chain has a store in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.

The British are leaving, the British are leaving!

Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California and beyond will soon be closed or sold, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Owned by Britain's Tesco, the 199-market chain never quite caught on with American consumers.

"We’re considering all options for the business, but it’s likely that the review will lead to Tesco exiting the U.S. market," wrote chief executive Philip Clarke in a blog post on the company website.

Analysts said the recession was partly to blame -- Fresh & Easy debuted in California, Nevada and Arizona in 2007, just as the economy was tanking. But, ultimately, consumers didn't warm to the concept.

"Though it attracted a small group of loyalists, Fresh & Easy largely failed to capture the imagination of American consumers who proved unaccustomed to British-style ready meals, self-service cash registers and unfamiliar store layouts," the Journal said.

Tesco's CEO told the paper: "It's likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end."

In Los Angeles County, the chain has locations in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Long BeachPico-Robertson, Encino, Hollywood, Northridge, Eagle Rock, Oak Park, North Hollywood, Van Nuys, and many more

Dhe Bookrecyclers December 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM
The beer selection is good and they offer some good items for single people and smaller families but for bigger families this place didn't make sense . Too bad though I liked them and the employees were always nice. Hope there bought out by trader joes or something too many empty buildings as is.
jt edwards December 07, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Twice I found a hair in my Fresh and Easy purchases and the staff was nonchalant about it. I am glad they are closing.
Shanda Schreer December 07, 2012 at 01:05 AM
This store has made eating for families healthy, fast and saves money. The just can't leave.
Travel December 07, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I agree that they should have adapted to America rather than expecting the Americans to adapt to their ways. The first time I went in I decided to try some ready-to-cook meals. I got enchiladas and shepherd's pie. The enchiladas were made with cream cheese - meh! The shepherd's pie was about 7/8 potatoes and 1/8 meat and the meat was awful. There is one thing I do go in there for and that is the wonderful British back bacon. Grocery shopping at its best is a real chore. Then to go into a store that is very cold and uninviting and having to do the self-service thing is just too much. I do think they made a mistake in their Manhattan Beach location. It is right next to Trader Joe's. Which one would you rather go into?
Shelley Delayne December 15, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I found their food to be of questionable freshness and quality and the Manhattan Beach location has always had a funny (and not pleasant) smell to the store. Not surprised they're closing—I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did.


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